PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – Millions of people gathered today to witness the beautiful, sacred tradition that has blessed the lands of Punxsutawney for generations: Groundhog Day. Will we be gifted with an early spring, or shall that curséd shadow loom over the burrow, destining us to endure another six weeks of winter? Alas, our noble groundhog chose to stray far from tradition this fine day.
At 7:42 am, Punxsutawney Phil crawled out of his burrow. He took a moment to look up at the infinite expanse of sky above him then turned to all of the surrounding cameras and reporters with a wizened air, almost to show that he himself possesses the quiet knowledge that indeed, there is a higher being above us, guiding the universe and allowing us mortals the fleeting glimpse at something far beyond our minute existence. Then he ate his shadow.
There is no scripture, no guidance that indicates what to do next. We are left alone to ponder the ultimate question: if there is no shadow to serve the groundhog, will the seasons still change? Perhaps we are mere fools on this endeavor of life, endlessly puppeted by that universal force in the cosmos that chose today of all days to send the world into disordered chaos. We do not know what weather awaits us; we do not know many things. For what is a shadow, but a mere impermanent reminder of our own mortality? And further:
Shadow cannot be without Man; but can Man be without Shadow?
Happy Groundhog Day!